racoons and rats

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by phaatnsassy, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. phaatnsassy

    phaatnsassy Chirping

    Oct 18, 2012
    Central Oregon Coast
    Now for a little over a month now. I have been dealing with what I thought was only racoons getting my girls. I have lost 2 to them and one just got sick and died. So last night I again set my live trap. This morning I went to see what if anything was in it. I found the live trap across the coop and in it was a rat. Now I realize something else tried to get to the rat, wish it had. I did not have these problems last year. So I am wondering if they came around cause I am using the deep litter method in the run. Or the lack of rain? I throw fresh straw down every week and at nights I make sure all my girls are inside and locked down. Does anyone have any Ideas about this? I am baffled and getting frustrated.

  2. GD91

    GD91 Songster

    Aug 1, 2013
    We all battle nature in our coops.

    I find using the natural methods work best.

    If you have rats, get a cat or a terrier that won't harm your chickens. Install a Syrian fighting hamster in a cage into the shed (Rats & mice are scared of hamsters because hamsters are highly territorial & will seek out a vicious fight). Put it somewhere the chickens don't have to see, because they can freak out birds to.

    As for raccoons.... we don't have them here. Do you know how many raccoons you are dealing with?
  3. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    The coop needs to be predator proof. No entrances larger than a quarter, otherwise cover with 1/2" hardware cloth. If the coop has a floor, keeping it off of the ground will prevent the rats from having a small space under the coop to live. An apron around the outside of the run using durable fencing or hardware cloth will prevent predators from digging into the run and gaining access to the coop itself.

    Rats need a place to live, so checking for piles of debris, firewood, brush, and the like will give you a handle on the circumstances. They need a source of food and water, so that is something else to investigate.

  4. Some how I can't understand a rat being afraid of a hamster. ........

  5. GD91

    GD91 Songster

    Aug 1, 2013
    Nor me, considering hamsters live alone & rats in colonies, but for some reason they are. I've seen it before, we put our hamsters in the shed & the rats immediately left. Also people do mention it, but I think they are shy of being accused of "one of those myths".

    If I hadn't seen it work, I'd believe something like that to be a myth to.

  6. You are right.....I would have to see this happen to believe it. Rats are extremely smart, I just can't understand why a rat would be afraid of a hamster confined to a cage. They would just avoid the cage.

    Now, if the chicken house was inhabited by a colony of hamsters maybe that would work.......but then I would still have a rodent peeing and pooping in my chicken feeders. :(
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  7. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Raccoons are easy to catch in a cage trap of proper size. Canned cat food and tuna are attractive baits. Each one trapped should be shot. I control rats around the barn by keeping lockable bait boxes set with what are referred to as bait chunx. Rampage and Just One Bite are a few effective baits. The only time rats try to inhabit the barn is during the winter months, so before Winter, I clean out box traps and set them with new bait. I check every week or two to see how much has been eaten, and set new bait if I need to. I've never had a problem with an animal getting secondary poison from a dead rat. But I am careful to clean up any dead rat that may be found. Of course, keeping clutter to a minimum, feed securely stored, and feed receptacles/spilled feed picked up at night prevents an invitation to rats.

  8. Just One Bite is really good stuff.......I use it, too.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by